Plan for a food recall
In some cases where there is a food safety problem in food that has been distributed this may lead to a food recall. Produce distributors, producers and wholesalers should be prepared by having a food recall plan in place.
Information on developing a food recall plan and templates for use are available on the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) website here:
the scientific evidence is inconclusive, then assume that it is a risk, and take appropriate action to control the risk.
Once a decision to recall is made, it may be either a trade recall or withdrawal or a consumer level recall. A trade level recall involves food product that has not been available for direct purchase by the general public. It removes an unsafe food product from the distribution chain, for example, distribution centres and wholesalers. It may also involve recovering the food from hospitals, restaurants and other catering establishments, and outlets that sell food manufactured for immediate consumption.
A consumer recall is more extensive than a trade recall. It recovers the food product from all points in the production and distribution network, including any affected product in the possession of consumers. Therefore, the public must be informed of a consumer recall.
For a step-by-step checklist on what to do in a recall, see the 'Conducting a food recall' page here:
The chief executive of MPI can order a recall under the Food Act 2014 and can also make privileged statements to protect consumers and to inform the public. Both recalls and privileged statements are public statements.
On occasion if the food has been exported, MPI is required to notify overseas embassies in affected regions. If this is a serious food safety incident or likely to impact on trade relations, MPI will initiate an incident response team. An industry liaison contact will be included in the response team.
Recall plans should be tested at least annually by carrying out a ‘mock recall' to ensure their effective operation.
It is important to keep up to date with any new or revised Recalls & Warnings information, including requirements and upcoming changes. You can subscribe to MPI updates using the following link: http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz/feeds/.
Food safety problems can arise even within the best-managed food business. “Recall plans should be tested at least annually by carrying out a ‘mock recall’ to ensure their effective operation.”